A concert hall in České Budějovice, nicknamed Stingray, designed by the
late architect Jan Kaplický, could be completed in 2015, the head of the
local music fans’ association said. The project, which is the Czech-born
architect’s last design to be built in his native country, is expected to
cost around two billion crowns; however, the investor of the project has
not been disclosed. The supporters of the project hope that they will
secure all permits by the end of the year and construction should begin in
December 2013. The new concert hall could then open to the public in
Jan Kaplický, who died in 2009 aged 72, also designed a new National Library building in Prague, known as the Blob. However, the project was dropped under pressure from Prague City Hall.
The police have arrested a gang of six Romanian citizens in Prague who allegedly committed a series of brutal robberies, the police said. The gang mainly targeted warehouses with construction material and electronics; they would attack the security staff, inflicting serious injuries on the personnel. On at least one occasion, they also robbed a gambling bar in Prague. The police said the damages amounted to 3.5 million crowns. If convicted, the men will face up to 12 years in prison.
A court in Prague on Monday handed pop singer Dara Rolins a suspended sentence of two years in prison for causing an accident that killed a 58-year-old motorcycle rider. The court said that the Slovak-born, Prague-based signer was driving in the opposite lane of the road when the accident happened, on the outskirts of Prague in 2010. Her car then crashed into the man who later died in hospital. The court also took the 39-year-old singer’s driver’s licence and sentenced her to pay some four million crowns in damages. Ms Rolins’ lawyer said they would appeal the verdict.
Fishermen in Tábor, in the south of the country, on Monday began removing fish from a local lake to allow for the cleaning of the lake’s basin. The fish are stunned with electricity, produced by a submersible generator, before they are relocated to a nearby river or another part of the lake. It’s not clear how many fish are in the lake which was last cleared 180 years ago, the project’s manager told the ČTK news agency. Cleaning and de-mudding the 51-hectare large Lake Jordan will cost some 375 million crowns and should be finished in 2014.
Members of the Czech Olympic Team return to Prague from London on Monday on two special flights. The first plane which arrived at Prague’s Kbely airport in the afternoon carried among others the bronze crew of the men’s four kayak; the second flight, to land at 8:30 PM, will carry gold medallists Barbora Špotáková, David Svoboda and Jaroslav Kulhavý. The Czech team won ten medals at the XXXth Summer Olympic games – four gold, three silver and three bronze medals – which ranked the Czech Republic 19th in the medal tally.
Mountain biker Jaroslav Kulhavý won the gold medal at the London Olympics. The 27-year-old Czech won the Czech Republic’s first ever Olympic medal in Sunday’s mountain bike race in a sprint finish when he managed to stay in front of Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, who finished second. Kulhavý’s gold set the Czech medal tally at 10, with four gold, three silver and three bronze medals which ranks the country 19th in the Olympic medal count, between Jamaica and North Korea.
Several Czech NGOs including the human rights and charity group People in Need on Sunday criticized the government for not taking seriously the issues faced by foreigners working in the country as domestic workers. The NGOs said the government failed to move and ratify an international treaty which would improve the workers’ conditions. The activists dismissed the government’s argument that the numbers of foreign domestic workers are very low, less than 0.02 percent of all foreigners working in the country. Pavla Redlová from People in Need said that their real numbers were much higher, and that they often work and live in poor conditions. The international treaty dealing with the issue will next be debated in the Czech Senate.
The Czech Republic’s national marrow donors register has launched a
campaign to recruit new donors among the country’s firefighters, the news
agency ČTK reported on Sunday. Some 3,000 members of the Fire Rescue
Service could become donors of bone marrow, around half of the total
number, a spokeswoman for the service said. Doctors from the national
registry said they had positive reactions to the campaign.
The national marrow donation programme has around 36,000 donors; each year, it helps to provide marrow for some 100 transplantations.
The Czech foreign minister, and head of the coalition TOP 09 party, Karel Schwarzenberg has assembled his team for the presidential campaign, the news agency ČTK reported on Sunday. Businessman Marek Vocel, who was one of the founders of anti-communist NGO Opona, has become the leader of the team that also includes producer David Gaydečka. Mr Schwarzenberg, who ranks third or fourth in most polls of the presidential candidates, is planning to officially launch his campaign in September, some four months ahead of the first ever direct presidential elections held in the country.
The Czech Transportation Ministry is planning to increase the speed limit fro 90 to 110 km/h on selected 1st class roads, Czech TV reported on Sunday. The pilot project will be launched on the road between the cities of Pardubice and Hradec Králové, in eastern Bohemia, in the autumn, and other roads should follow. The ministry is also planning to rename expressways as motorways which would mean the network of motorways in the country would be extended by some 300 km overnight.